In this week’s Fandom Flashback, we pack our bags and head back to Cyprus Rhodes University and a look back at all the college drama on Greek!
Fandom Flashbacks are a weekly Hypable feature that takes a look back at old shows (classic, vintage, and freshly dead) and takes our readers onto memory lane as we express our favorite moments, characters, and plots.
COLLEGE AND THE GREEK SYSTEM: Casey and Rusty Cartwright may be related, but that’s where the similarities ended, at least when Greek began. Seeing their relationship progress slowly over their residencies on the CRU campus was never dull, and the people that became permanent fixtures in their lives added some much needed vibrance.
|“BEING HERE AT SCHOOL IS LIKE MARDI GRAS AND THE REST OF LIFE IS LIKE LENT, RIGHT? YOU GOTTA GET IT ALL OUT BEFORE YOU GIVE IT ALL UP.” – CAPPIE|
Casey’s own little world mainly revolves around Cappie, Evan, Ashleigh, and whatever other boy is currently in the picture, until her brother Rusty joins her at CRU. At first, she is absolutely mortified, but as time goes on, Casey and Rusty grow both together as siblings and separately as people of the world. College has a tendency to do that.
Rusty’s arrival at CRU brought along his crazy southern roommate (and fellow polymer science geek) Dale, his best friend Calvin, and a whole host of party animals, better known as the Kappa Tau’s. Greek gave all us outsiders a glimpse at what life inside the Greek system could be like… if you went to a college in Ohio whose weather was suspiciously similar to Southern California.
A college campus has all kinds of people, and it takes all sorts to make the world go round. This fact was proven weekly when Greek was on the air. Go-getter types, geeky and passionate types, laissez-faire “it’ll get done” types, and even the completely oblivious had their place at CRU, and each proved their worth time and time again.
The main cast represents every facet of college life imaginable, and a couple you may not have imagined. Whether you identify with the go with the flow, everything will figure itself out approach, or the hyper-focused, driven science major type, there is a character for everyone on Greek. Even better, no one is left behind. Each and every character grows substantially from season 1 to season 4, and learns things about life that every college student must learn.
|CASEY CARTWRIGHT Our main character, Casey Cartwright, is a valued member of Zeta Beta Zeta, sister to Rusty, and has a very complicated history with Evan and Cappie. She gets into all sorts of trouble during her years at CRU, but is always trying to right her wrongs.||
The geeky polymer science major, Rusty wants to do college right from his first day on campus. He decides to rush a fraternity, and when things don’t pan out for him at Omega Chi, he joins Kappa Tau Gamma where he meets Cappie and his life changes for the better.
Fan favorite character, Cappie is as mysterious as he is flirty, which is to say, quite. He and Casey have undeniable chemistry and he takes her younger brother under his wing at Kappa Tau. He has had a million different majors, but each and every one has taught him something valuable about life.
Evan Chambers is a trust fund wielding, manipulative, preppy guy that starts out his time on Greek by sleeping with Rebecca… while he’s dating Casey. The trouble that one act caused rippled through all four seasons of the show, causing a rift between Casey and her ZBZ sister.
Casey’s best friend and fashion maven, Ashley, is her partner in crime, her confidant, and her shoulder to cry on. Ashley isn’t the sharpest of wit, but when she is passionate about something there is no force on earth that could stop her.
Rebecca Logan stomped onto the scene in Greek’s pilot by sleeping with Evan, intentionally establishing herself as Casey’s foil. She lives up to that title throughout the show’s 4 season run, even when they manage to be on the same side for more than 15 minutes.
Rusty’s mildly rascist, religious zealot of a roommate, Dale brings some much needed levity to the show. While many of his beliefs seem a bit extreme, throughout the show he learns about how the world really works and how to become a true friend to his freshman roomie.
Calvin Owens began his tenure on Greek as Rusty’s friend after rush night, but we soon realized that his own struggle with how to be honest about his sexuality as a part of the Greek system was going to be the most important part of Calvin Owens’ story.
While arguments could be made for, well, just about any character other than Frannie (because let’s face it, if this show had a villain, she would be it) for the best character on Greek, if you polled a room full of Greek fans, one character is sure to rise to the top, Cappie.
Cappie is the glue that ties Greek together. He could be thrown in a scene with just about any of the main characters and you wouldn’t bat an eye. He can get along with just about anyone, no matter what they may or may not have in common. He starts out the series as Casey’s ex-boyfriend and Rusty’s big brother at Kappa Tau, and we slowly discover the many compelling attributes that make up the mysterious Cappie as he goes on to befriend Dale, Rebecca, and pretty much everyone else.
Part of his charm is the lengths to which he is willing to go to keep Casey from settling down with Evan. The beginning of the series hinted that the three of them have a very complicated past and one episode at a time we learn more and more about what happened to divide the three friends. Despite their former friendship, he is determined to make sure that Casey doesn’t get too attached to Evan, so he never lets an opportunity pass him by to remind Casey of just how hot their flame once burned.
Hypable’s own Jimmy Bean appears in two episodes of Greek. Look for him in background in “The Dork Knight” and as a guest at the murder mystery party in “Cross Examined Life”!
No matter what Casey may believe, Cappie never truly believed that he and Casey were done, so anytime she had a new beau in her life, whether it be Evan or Max or any of her random boy toys, he never let them get too comfortable. He seemed to realize that the right thing to do was to hang just off stage and comfort Casey whenever she needed a shoulder to cry on. Sure he got himself into trouble every so often, he is a KT after all, but more often than not he was the one that was always there for the girl of his dreams.
He also played a large role in helping Rusty get acclimated to life as a ‘regular guy.’ Rusty wanted nothing more than to reinvent himself in college. He wanted to move past the ‘nerd’ label that he landed for himself in high school, which lead him to rush Kappa Tau. When Cappie took Rusty “Spitter” Cartwright under his wing, he showed that not only does he care about Casey, but he seemed to know that even though Casey may not realize it yet, her relationship with her brother would be a very important part of her college experience.
The most endearing and popular Cappie quality would be his quick wit and sense of humor. Not many men would feel comfortable doing half the things that Cappie does on a regular day, let alone possess the sharpness of mind to meet them quip for quip in a battle of the minds.
There are a few episodes that come to mind when you start trying to nail down the best episode of Greek. There are a few very influential party episodes that you have to consider, there’s the pilot where it all began, but if you think long and hard about it, there is one episode that stands out. It involves pranks, a elevating rivalry, a plea for freedom, and more than a few lessons learned.
Episode 4 of Chapter 2, “War and Peace” involves a rather intense war between the Kappa Tau and Omega Chi houses. The episode begins with a stolen and defaced house portrait, quickly elevates to a battle filled with riot gear and fishy smells, and hits its height with a house full of barnyard animals.
In an attempt to make peace, Rusty confronts the Omega Chi house head on and addresses them alone. When this fails, the Omega Chi’s duct tape Rusty to the side of a building (an absolutely hysterical visual by the way), and the feud hits epic proportions. Rusty gets a little inspiration from a novel he’s reading for class and the Kappa Tau’s unleash a herd of barnyard animals on the Omega Chi house. They find a mutual peace before things escalate too far, but the damage has been done to Rusty and Calvin’s friendship.
“WE’VE HIT ROCK BOTTOM, BUT THAT MEANS THERE’S NO WAY TO GO BUT UP!” -CASEY
While the fraternities are at war, Zeta Beta Zeta is looking for a little freedom. They have come a long way since Lizzie first arrived, but when Casey finds out that forgiving and reinstating Frannie is the only way to send Lizzie packing, she can’t believe she is being forced to give Frannie a second chance.
This may not be the stand out episode for most people, but it encapsulates all of what what makes Greek the show we all know and love (and can marathon for a week). Cappie and Evan are feuding, Casey is being forced to grow as a leader, Rusty is trying to find some common ground and make peace, Calvin tries to be a good friend, and Frannie is, well, doing her best impression of someone trying to be a better person.
Check out the second page for funniest episode, more fun facts and more!
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